Mala Keeps the Dubstep Rather Restrained in ‘Mala in Cuba’

Gilles Peterson despatched the dubstep producer Mala to Havana last year to record an album, armed only with a sampler and laptop.

Mala is one half of Digital Mystikz – the duo behind the floor-throbbing DMZ club nights – but here he keeps the dubstep side of things rather  restrained.

Instead of ear-buzzing basslines, Mala lays subtle, half-step dubstep beats underneath Cuban percussion, splicing in snatches of jazzy piano and Cuban tres guitar.

The best tracks are two rather  lovely vocal-led songs: the deliciously reggaefied Noches Sueños and the Buena Vista Social Club-ish Como Como.

It’s a reminder that Cuba has, for too long, been isolated musically by an insular Castro regime and a US blockade: this album imagines a world in which the island resumes its role as the crucible of Western dance music.

Fort he original report go to

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